Monday, March 20, 2023  |



Rigondeaux and Flores reach deal, likely meet on Ward-Kovalev card


Junior Featherweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux and interim titleholder Moises Flores have reached a deal for a fight slated for the HBO PPV undercard of the rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev on June 17 in Las Vegas, promoter Tom Brown, who handles Flores, told on Monday.

The fighters agreed to terms on Thursday, avoiding a purse bid that was set to occur on Tuesday in Panama City, where the WBA’s offices are located. Sources have indicated to that camps representing both Ward, the unified light heavyweight champion, and Kovalev are working to finalize a deal for June 17 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and the fight is likely to happen then despite reports suggesting Ward was considering retirement and there is acrimony between the promoters, Main Events (Kovalev) and Roc Nation Sports (Ward).

“It’s a big opportunity (for Flores) and a very big fight, as we all know,” Brown said in a phone interview. “But it’s one that he wants and feels he can win and he knows what a victory over Rigondeaux can do for him.” Mexico’s Flores (25-0, 17 KOs) was supposed to take on the Cuban stylist on Feb. 25 on the undercard of Miguel Cotto-James Kirkland on HBO PPV.

But those plans were dashed after Kirkland withdrew with an injury. Rigondeaux, 36, last fought in July, stopping an overmatched James Dickens in the second round. Flores hasn’t fought since June 11, winning a decision against Paulus Ambunda in his second defense of his interim title. Rigondeaux is ranked No. 7 on the RING’s pound-for-pound list; Flores is rated No. 6 at 122 pounds while Rigondeaux is No. 1 in the division.